Sunday, June 11, 2006

Pope Palpatine Speaks

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A manly salute to The General for pointing this out.

The Pope took time off from overseeing the Clone Army to say lots of really stupid things at Auschwitz.

Of course, everyone knows the Holocaust was caused by Neo-Pagans.

Dumbass.

15 Comments:

Anonymous Nemo said...

"I had to come. It is a duty before the truth and the just due of all who suffered here, a duty before God, for me to come here as the successor of Pope John Paul II and as a son of the German people -- a son of that people over which a ring of criminals rose to power by false promises of future greatness and the recovery of the nation's honor, prominence and prosperity, but also through terror and intimidation, with the result that our people was used and abused as an instrument of their thirst for destruction and power." - Pope Benedict XVI, remarks at Auschwitz ==== Really, now -- is it at all "inconceivable" that someday, in the not too distant future, an *American* Pope might visit the torture chambers of the Guantanamo Concentration Camp and express remarkably similar sentiments? And if he did, would we heatedly disagree?? ==== The parallels between the US and Nazi Germany are *already* firmly in place. They have been manifest for quite some time now, and are DEEPLY disturbing to all who recognize them. Reading that rather incendiary, fairly one-sided rant over at "Is That Legal", I could only EMPATHIZE with the German people, many of whom *undoubtedly* asked themselves repeatedly, "What can we do to STOP this?", but heard only a resounding silence, like that of the grave, in response. ==== Let's be real. What are WE doing "to stop this"??? The same type of brutal injustices are being committed daily, right under OUR very noses, as well. So what makes us in any way "morally superior" to those Germans who sought but could never discern an effective solution to the organized madness that enveloped *their* country? ==== It seems tragically inescapable to me that we in Amerika are undoubtedly in "Das [same] Boot"! And in pointing the finger of "guilt by association " at the former Cardinal Ratzinger -- a mere boy at the time -- we unmistakably point it at ourselves! ==== Do not ask for whom the bell tolls: It tolls for thee!

Sun Jun 11, 12:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

Robert: The Catholic Church is your idea of the "Clone Army"?? I would have supposed you'd long ago renounced such recognizably Fundamentalist views. But it seems they haven't renounced you, and still lurk deep within.

Sun Jun 11, 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Well now....

(Robert pushes back from the card table so as to be able to reach his pistol in it's holster)

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that perhaps you misunderstood me.

My comparison of the Catholic Church to the Grand Army of the Reublic from science fiction was partly tounge-in-cheek and partly serious.

In that the a great many in the Church follow in lock-step the dictates of an infallible leader, the comparison holds. Anti-condom and abortion dogma have caused untold suffering in developing countries. The role of women as second-class citizens as far as the church is concerned is also of note in comparing millions of believers to brain-washed, compliant cannon fodder in the culture wars.

"I would have supposed you'd long ago renounced such recognizably Fundamentalist views"

I hate Christianity in all it's forms. Liberal, fundamentalist, what have you.

I hate religion in general in that once you standardize the experience of One that individual spirituality can bring, you destroy it's purity.

As I said, I loathe all religions, but due to past and ongoing experience, the worship of the Nazarene will always have a special cold place in my heart.

And I will always, though I will treat them with respect, view the followers of "Christ" in a suspicious light. Be they the bread and wine crew or the snake- handling holy rollers.

Now, my views on this are nothing new. I've made no bones about them since I've known you. Did you misunderstand me, or did I just hit too close to home?

Sun Jun 11, 01:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

Hmmmm... (Nemo casually caresses the pistol grip of the sawed-off 12-guage he keeps conveniently tucked in his boot.) "Mebbe I does, and mebbe I doesn't, pardner", says he. ==== Robert: When you equate "the Catholic Church" -- a phrase typically used to describe both the *hierarchy* of that organized religion *and* ALL of its proclaimed members with the "Clone Army", it implies a pretty broad-brushed denigration of an enormous, highly diverse, whole group of people -- who incidentally constitute a significant portion of the earth's population. That's a pretty tall generalization to make, and in my experience it's largely unwarranted. ==== Having a fairly broad degree of familiarity with a vast number of Catholics, including most of my extended family and a great many of my youthful comrades and "partners in [victimless] crime", I can assure you that the sterotypical, abject deference of Catholics to the Pope -- the "Papist" motif, as described by some detractors -- has very little validity. Ever since those stunning edicts regarding birth control during the Sixties, the Catholic Church -- that is, its *constituents* -- have been in a fairly constant state of schism, vis-a-vis any such authoritarian decrees. Much of what you've said by way of response above may apply to the "official" positions and prevailing attitudes of the Church *hierarchy*, but the everyday members of that faith vary widely in their personal beliefs and their acceptance of the "finality" of any official Church position. Though there are probably still some "strict" Catholics around (somewhere), who would take everything the hierarchy dishes out as "dogma", there are few, if any, I've ever met, particulary among the younger age groups in this country -- which I like to consider myself a part of, whatever the realities may be. (Heck, I was probably droppin' acid before you were even born, you young whippersnapper!) ;-) ==== Too close to home? Perhaps. But that's mainly because I find the *unqualified * insinuation to be entirely unrealistic. The *hierarchy* of the Catholic Church could conceivably be contrued, by definition, as something of a "Clone Army", in that it *is* bound (in principle) to conform to the official decrees of the Vatican. But the much larger, general population that comprises its "flocks" is anything but sheep when it comes to blind adherance to the "authority" of the Church. Cindy Sheehan is a Catholic; Kim Redigan, the remarkable lady who verbally "threw down the gauntlet" at Dubya upon hearing of his illicit NSA spying scam (in a commentary I posted at GS) is a Catholic and a staunchly dedicated activist; the Berrigan brothers (one has passed away) -- utterly intractable advocates for peace and justice, who spent considerable portions of their lives in prison for acting in accordance with their convictions-- were both Catholics, priests, in fact! All of those people would assuredly identify themselves as members of the Catholic Church. And if the Church *hierarchy*, for some reason, chose to frown upon their activities, they very likely would continue them unabated and *still* identify themselves as members of the Catholic Church! ==== I believe that in this type of pointed discussion, it's crucial to make a very clear distinction between personally rejecting certain *beliefs* and seemingly rejecting, whole-hog, those who ostensibly profess such beliefs. To proceed otherwise comes dangerously close to outright bigotry -- the denigration of an entire class of people, based strictly on superficially perceived, often erroneous criteria. And in this case, the "shoe" -- as applied to the would-be "disciples" of that faith -- simply doesn't fit.

Sun Jun 11, 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

(Robert nods and motions for Miss Kitty to bring another round of drinks. Everyone in the bar relaxes. The town undertaker scowls)

I see your point.

I have limited time to write at this moment and I need to put this through my brain a few times.

Keeping me on my toes. Helping avoid sloppy thinking.

We live to fight another day :)

Sun Jun 11, 07:13:00 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Now, having had a few moments to sit and reflect (and leave work and come home).

You and I will simply have to disagree, my friend.

I find myself in part of my solitary life becoming comfortable with what I believe and who I am. I've known what I belived for quite a while now but have never been comfortable enough to not feal fear saying aloud what I believed and felt.

There is the wonderful saying (paraphrasing) "Speak up even though your voice shakes".

Well, my voice doesn't shake much these days.

Yes, the risk of outright bigotry against the faithful is there, and yes I know where hatred can lead...

This being said, I won't compromise something that is a great part of me because others may find it unpalatable.

When you speak of Catholics, you speak of people who believe that there is a God that controls things. A God that allows children to be butchered. Women to be raped and brutalized and those are but a couple of things God allows.

Let me ask you this: How can you be comfortable with a faith that believes that the only way to appease the angry sky God is through human sacrifice?

And don't tell me that those are archaic values shared by a miniscule few of the Catholic faithful. A God who hides behind the free will argument and designed the universe so badly that only the torture-sacrifice of his son would allow him to be reconciled to his human slaves is FUNDAMENTAL to ALL Christian doctrine.

Even if you suggest that those are "myths" that can teach moral lessons you still have the all-powerful Big Daddy in the sky that watches every day while humanity suffers and bleeds.
And does nothing.

If you say that suffering and bleeding are simply part of life, while there exists this Power to stop it, I say bullshit.

If you had the power of God, would you be able to sit and watch molestation, murder, and degredation, and not interfere and say FUCKING STOP IT!

Yet you ask me to respect the 98% of humanity that is just fine with this idea and chalk it up to the "mystery of God".

Fuck that.

I would rather be consumed by hate than believe or be silent over one more convenient lie.

Until ALL faiths become something students learn in Ancient History classes, humanity will never reach it's full potential.

And until we start calling the lies lies and stop trying to get along with inhuman, uncaring doctrines they will continue to flourish.

Sun Jun 11, 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger Again said...

robert
(Robert pushes back from the card table so as to be able to reach his pistol in it's holster)
nemo
(Nemo casually caresses the pistol grip of the sawed-off 12-guage he keeps conveniently tucked in his boot.)
robert
(Robert nods and motions for Miss Kitty to bring another round of drinks. Everyone in the bar relaxes. The town undertaker scowls)

puuuuuh

thanks, you both of my most respected Americans - really felt my blood pressure rising - would be a tragedy, if even the "Last Mohicans" would tear apart

and yes, you know, i'm totally in line with robert - but i dare to say, that he forgot one important point to mention. One point, that btw is IMO the most important difference between a reason-driven and a faith-driven person: we know the value of prejudices. We know, that they are (very!) important tools of our brain to do real-time-processing, but that they simply are "orientation", just 80/20-solutions - and therefore we always are aware of the little fact, that the situation might not be perfectly fitting with our prejudices/80%-solution

or in other words - when we meet christians open-minded and clear-sighted we don't treat them according to our orientation of faith-driven personalities, but according to their own perfect individuality

Mon Jun 12, 12:18:00 AM  
Blogger Again said...

nemo
The parallels between the US and Nazi Germany are *already* firmly in place. They have been manifest for quite some time now, and are DEEPLY disturbing to all who recognize them

thanks, nemo

as German, watching Mr. Bushs not so silent attack on the Constitution, the link at "is that legal" sounds really arrogant - and (forgive me) perfectly proving the true nature of the permanent peering at the Nazis, the same reason which might have killed Zarqawi: just to make people look the other way, to let them feel good while they should be alarmed to fight against the true enemy

(regarding "peering at the Nazis": apart from the fact, that no one can do it as exact as ourselves, in the "typical german" meticulous way - we did it (meticulously), we documented it (meticulously)and now we analyze it (meticulously) without flaws and blinders <blink> - and yes, we have learnt, we optimized our Constitution to avoid the past mistakes: Heaven help us against the future ones...)

watching things evolve, more and more i understand how many of the Germans (the fascist ones) felt that days: proud to be germans, better than any other nation, more clever, wise and moral (even the poor, stupid Joe Sixpacks!) so anything they did, was per definitionem well-done! Exactly what i see now - and exactly what i discovered during my studies about information processing, the problems of high intelligence - needing permanent verification - therefore developing an Ego to control the own processing - therefore eager to find well-working tools for verification, best without pains - and looking at "approval" you see why it is so important for humans (and primates, btw) to be approved: it is nothing else than a contact-free kind of verification, because if other information processing systems detect the same "pattern" in the environment, chances are better, that the pattern really exists. It's that easy - approval links to the survival instinct - therefore you even can make people kill themselves by the tool/weapon of manipulation by approval...

and - btw - the Pope didn't have to excuse just as German, but as Catholic Pope, too - because Hitlers fight against the Jews was long sold as "Christian Crusade", so the Catholic Church didn't do its duty to "defend the evil" - just because it was so convenient to have "somebody" else fight "your fight" the Pope looked the other way when even disabled children were killed - and he knew, we know now...

"Christian Crusade"...

similarities, similarities...

Mon Jun 12, 12:43:00 AM  
Blogger Again said...

PS:

sorry, Freudian Slip, should be:

Catholic Church didn't do its duty to "defend the weak against the evil"

Mon Jun 12, 12:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robert: You know, of course, these colorful vignettes have become *much* more fun than the actual discussion itself. Perhaps we should give this "continuing saga" a name. ... ==== (BRIMSMOKE [cont.]: "Doc" Nemo smiles wryly, tossing a silver dollar to the piano player. "Let's have us some enterainmen, Fingers!", he says, raising his refilled glass to his fellow gunslinger: "Much obliged, pardner!") ==== Well, Robert, I have to admit you have me in a rather awkward position here, since I find myself "defending a faith", as it were, that I don't personally embrace. But let me say this: The *core* exposition of the "articles of faith" for Catholics -- what all Catholics (and some other Christian sects) minimally "believe" -- is contained in The Nicene Creed, a literal translation

Mon Jun 12, 03:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robert: You know, of course, these colorful vignettes have become *much* more amusing than the actual discussion. Perhaps we should give this "continuing saga" a name. ... BRIMSMOKE [cont.]: ("Doc" Nemo smiles wryly, tossing a silver dollar to the piano player. "Let's have us some enterainmen, Fingers!", he says, raising his refilled glass to his fellow gunslinger: "Much obliged, pardner!") ==== Well, Robert, I have to admit you have me in a rather awkward position here, since I find myself "defending a faith", as it were, that I don't personally embrace. But let me say this: The *core* exposition of the "articles of faith" for Catholics -- what all Catholics (and some other Christian sects) minimally "believe" -- is contained in The Nicene Creed, a literal translation of which is prov. It’s the end of the day and you're the only one going up at this hour.

You press the button for her floor and spend the short trip imagining her in the elevator with you. You'd be consummate professionals until the doors closed, then you'd both be on each other in an instant - pressed up against the wall, mouths devouring as hands roamed with possessive instinct, not caring if the security camera was broken or not.

You'd pull yourselves together just in time for the doors to open again, walking out as if nothing had happened.

When you arrive at her floor, your heart rate is already quickening. Hours of anticipation finally coming to a close, these last few seconds buzz with electricity - skin humming, hands empty and twitching, waiting to be filled with soft curves and warm body.

You pass by the receptionist's desk - already empty - and head for her office like a beacon is calling you there.

The door is open and the room is empty. Far from being disappointed, your excitement is heightened knowing she could return any second.

Her briefcase and purse are already on her desk, ready to go. A flush of joy races through you to know that she's been anxiously awaiting this moment as well.

A small pool of blue beside her bags catches your eye and you walk over to her desk for a closer look. You recognize it as her silk scarf, at the moment just a puddle of robin's egg blue on top of her desk, but once so elegant draped around her long graceful throat.

You pick it up and run the deliciously smooth fabric through your fingers. The color reminds you of her eyes and you close your own to call up the image of her wearing the scarf - the hue bringing out the stunning beauty and depth of her eyes as she looks up at you.

The feel of the silk drifting feather light over your hands reminds you of her skin, delicate and soft beneath your fingertips, warm and alive with a scent that is uniquely her. You lift the scarf, hoping to catch a faint reminder of that scent, but are disappointed at how it pales in comparison to the real thing.

Before you can return the scarf, a pair of slender arms slip effortlessly around your waist from behind. Eyes still closed, you sink into her as she embraces you, pressing herself gently against your back as your mind and body relax with a feeling of yes, finally...

"Miss me?" she murmurs.

"You have no idea."

You turn in her arms to look at her and your hands follow your eyes, caressing her hair, running down her shoulders, then up her throat as you cup her face and lean in for a kiss.

Everything else disappears and all there is is her...

Every sense is aflame, intoxicated by every aspect of this woman before you.

There is no such thing as enough; if you were to consume her whole, you would still not be sated. Hands, lips, tongue, heart... All lost.

The kiss is more than a show of affection, a sign of longing finally abated. It's two parts coming together into a whole. Not just the end of a long journey, but a destination long sought after, like Valhalla to a weary warrior. Heaven. Nirvana. Bliss.

She smiles up at you when she finally pulls away and oh God her smiles make you so weak...

Neither of you has to say it; you both know you want to be away from here, in a place that's safe and private, free from prying eyes.

You drape the scarf around her neck lightly. You can't help but follow the scarf to her neck, indulging in the feel, smell, taste of that soft skin for just a minute more before you go. She arches her neck, drawing you in and your resolve begins to crumble. You reluctantly pull back, knowing the sooner you leave the sooner you'll be alone together.

You pick up her briefcase and she takes her purse, opening it to remove her lip gloss, swiping it lightly across her lips as you watch, licking your own lips at the memory of that taste.

"Let's go," she says softly. "Maybe we'll get lucky and have

Mon Jun 12, 03:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

Robert: You know, of course, these colorful, leading vignettes have become *much* more amusing than the actual discussion. Perhaps we should give this "continuing saga" a name. ... BRIMSMOKE [cont.]: ("Doc" Nemo smiles wryly, tossing a silver dollar to the piano player. "Let's have us some enterainment, Fingers!", he says, raising his refilled glass to his fellow gunslinger: "Much obliged, pardner!") ==== Well, Robert, I have to admit you have me in a rather awkward position here, since I find myself "defending a faith", as it were, that I don't personally embrace. But let me say this: The *core* exposition of the "articles of faith" for Catholics -- what all Catholics (and some other Christian sects) minimally "believe" -- is contained in The Nicene Creed, a literal translation of which is provided at the link (along with various and sundry notes and musings on "provenance", dating, etc.) ==== Now, I'm no theologian, Pardner, but nowhere in that manifesto do I find any clearly stated belief in a concept of eternal, "Divine management". Rather than asserting the notion of a God who "controls all things", that credo instead offers two ostensibly *terminal* concepts -- an initial "creation" and a final "judgment" -- along with some brief but rather dramatic interludes along the way. And though it's a bit cobwebby in this old brain these days, I vaguely recollect that, in the more fully elaborated, "official" Catholic belief system, the idea of a God who constantly "tweaked" his creation to make it fit his desires was more or less equated with the Calvinist notion of "predestination" -- a "heresy", according to the Catholic Church. ==== Unfortunately, that does leave Catholics with only the relatively unsatisfying, open-ended "explanation" of "Divine Mystery" to explain the many obvious troubles of the world, *if* said God is presumed to be "all-knowing, all-powerful, all-good", etc. But it also leaves Catholics completely "off the hook" to answer your admittedly ponderous objections, since they're not overtly *compelled* to accept those broader notions, at least according to the minimal prescriptions of the Nicene Creed. ==== For myself -- and this has very little to do with Catholicism -- I simply don't go wandering off into the domain of the "Omnis" at all. I believe they're inherently *artificial* constructs, derived strictly from the quasi-rational musings of *humans* about what a God "must necessarily" be (a.g, Aristotle's Doctrine of Immutability), rather than from any commendably *empirical* approach to obtaining such knowledge. I am primarily a strict Empiricist, "believing" what my experience firmly indicates. The rest, as I see it, is all pretty much high-falootin' mental masturbation, utterly open to debate. (In fact, the observable realities of our world you've described virtually guarantee that, if there is indeed a God, some of those lofty constructs are inherently flawed, since they fail utterly to accurately describe reality. As would-be "models", they serve no useful purpose at all ) And though I personally find much of value in various scriptures -- of various faiths -- the appreciation stems entirely from the inspirational aspects of selected excerpts, rather than from any "certainty" those scriptures might profess to convey. ==== As I said, I'm a Gnostic Heathen -- a "Gnostic" being an active seeker ("Seek and ye shall find") of knowledge -- who *has* occasionally found personally compelling evidence of a Power greater than myself. And that is sufficient for me. To go beyond that experiential basis, and attempt to "define God" -- as many religions do -- is, in my mind, fully akin to attempting to "create God in MY image and likeness", in true cart before the horse fashion. And I'm quite content to offer the rigorously honest, infinitely liberating answer, "I don't know", to all questions of Divine attributes beyond existence, in keeping with the spirit of the name Yahweh -- "I am who am". For all other qualities, I *don't* know; I don't really even care; I merely subscribe to one translation of "Allahu akbar", "God is GREATER" as a mantra that well encapsulates my own findings. (As a result, a few devout "Christians" along the way, especially of the evangelical persuasion, have advised me that I'm merely "in league with the devil, and don't know it." I, of course, would strongly disagree; my own Pentagram points UP! But, oh well -- that's "belief" for ya! And here I am, allegedly "the devil's advocate", seemingly stumping for the "other side". Go figure, eh?) ;-)

Mon Jun 12, 04:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Nemo said...

[BRIMSMOKE (cont.): "TARNATION!!", 'Doc' Nemo shouts. "Now, how in the bling blang blazes did that piece of Miss Kitty's romance novel get *fused* with muh theological dialectic?? Them VARMINTS at Blogger are up to NO good agin, I reckon."] ==== Translation: I haven't got a clue what the hell happened in that second cockamamey "Anonymous" post above (of two, actually), but the latter part of the content is from God knows where -- sunspots??

Mon Jun 12, 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Nemo,

Two things:

You be "devil's advocate" all you want to, brother.

and...

Somwbody likes writing erotic fiction :)

You dog you

(Robert buys another round)

Mon Jun 12, 05:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Barnita said...

Ok. Henceforth- this is officially my favorite comment thread.

Wed Jun 14, 04:41:00 AM  

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